Capristo Salon & Wellness Spa is more than just a beauty haven—it's a family legacy. The late founder, Bruce Capristo, started styling hair at the age of 19. He owned and operated many successful salons in the Pittsburgh area beginning in the 1960s, including his flagship site—Capristo International—where he worked alongside his wife, Cheech. Bruce established a strong reputation while working in fashion, film, and television; he even styled hair on the set of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead.
The location that Bruce opened on Ellsworth Avenue has now been going strong for more than 25 years. When Bruce passed away in 2006, his son Roman—a master stylist who trained with the likes of Vidal Sassoon and Bumble and bumble—took over the business, continuing his father's dream. And although she no longer works as an aesthetician and stylist, you might still see Cheech helping out behind the scenes.
The laid-back atmosphere at the salon and spa keeps both clients and staffers happy; in fact, some of the stylists have been with the company since the very beginning. The crew hands out complimentary martinis on Wednesday evenings, pampering guests with custom facials and body wraps. In a private spa-party room filled with padded chairs and sheer drapery, the beauty experts ply brides-to-be or birthday girls with complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres.
NeüSmile’s bread-and-butter cosmetic service is its express teeth-whitening system. The system uses cold-light technology to help whiten teeth in less than 30 minutes, and clients administer the treatment themselves, allowing them to prep for family photos, special events, or attempts to draw the attention of aloof ivory hunters. NeüSmile broadens its aesthetic scope to eyeballs with Lavish Lashes, an associate business that specializes in eyelash extensions. Certified professionals attach synthetic lashes to eyelids, enhancing natural lashes for up to six weeks.
Cheri Herold, owner of Fountain of Youth Aveda Salon Spa, wields a lifetime of beauty-industry experience to motivate her multitalented staff to exceed client expectations. Plant-based products fuel facials, massages, and hair treatments with the anti-aging properties of lavender, sandalwood, and other pure, sustainably sourced herbs and flowers. Fountain of Youth also operates a salon apprenticeship program, which provides 2,000 hours of on-the-job training to promising young cosmetologists or ambitious mannequins.
Former model Eva Kerschbaumer evokes her native Hungary at the award-winning EsSpa Kozmetika SkinCare while also fashioning an organic haven through earth-friendly practices and products. Hand-painted murals of Hungarian street scenes and river walks create an atmosphere of Old World charm for clients to laugh at cartoon coyotes trying to buy bread from a two-dimensional storefront. Inside private treatment rooms, aestheticians follow their owner's example by crafting massages, facials, and other pampering services personalized around the client's aesthetic needs. Eva builds her retail selection on organic oils and lotions from the Hungarian ilike line. These Hungarian skincare experts pack their products with handpicked herbs, fruits, and vegetables that have a high concentration of active ingredients aimed at restoring complexions and relaxing muscles.
While some spas claim to be relaxing, Spa Jema goes above and beyond, aiming to become a tranquil urban oasis for its clients. Sleek hardwood floors fill the 5,000-square-foot space, through the lounge and treatment rooms equipped with brick fireplaces, candles, and couches, which give off a homey vibe not unlike that of grandma’s Ouija board. Their services augment the calming atmosphere and include fruit-filled facials, deep-tissue massages, and pampering spa packages.
At Moyé Hair Etc!, owner Stephanie Moye uses her 17 years of cosmetology experience to keep clients looking chic from head to toenail. Drag two sets of scraggly digits into this homey, laid-back salon to have them buffed, filed, and shaped into the elegant appendage ends they were always born to be. While feet soak in a steamy footbath, pedicurists scrub away the miles from heels with an exfoliating sea-salt scrub and moisturizing oil, leaving each ped as soft and supple as a pair of leather pants filled with marshmallow fluff. A pigmented polishing with CND lacquer finishes off the tensomes' transformation, sending feet and hands back into the world ready to sport summer sandals and fingerless motorcycle gloves with pride.